The Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) is a Freedom Station distributed system with inherent applicability to advanced automation primarily due to the comparatively large reaction times of its subsystem processes. This allows longer contemplation times in which to form a more intelligent control strategy and to detect or prevent faults. The objective of the ECLSS Advanced Automation Project is to reduce the flight and ground manpower needed to support the initial and evolutionary ECLS system. The approach is to search out and make apparent those processes in the baseline system which are in need of more automatic control and fault detection strategies, to influence the ECLSS design by suggesting software hooks and hardware scars which will allow easy adaptation to advanced algorithms, and to develop complex software prototypes which fit into the ECLSS software architecture and will be shown in an ECLSS hardware testbed to increase the autonomy of the system. Covered here are the preliminary investigation and evaluation process, aimed at searching the ECLSS for candidate functions for automation and providing a software hooks and hardware scars analysis. This analysis shows changes needed in the baselined system for easy accommodation of knowledge-based or other complex implementations which, when integrated in flight or ground sustaining engineering architectures, will produce a more autonomous and fault tolerant Environmental Control and Life Support System.